Today I would like to welcome Michael Lynes, author of “There is a Reaper”
My is Michael D. Lynes, 54 years old and I was born and raised in Madison, New Jersey, USA – originally grew up in the suburbs but Margaret and I have lived in Sussex County NJ, the New Jersey Skylands region, for the last 30 years.
I am a child of the early sixties, the tail end of the ‘boomer’ generation. I am the oldest of five, with three sisters and a brother. We all grew up in the town of Madison NJ, renamed after the President of the same name, the ‘Author of the Constitution’ James Madison. (Bottle Hill – the original name from the early 1700’s – had seemingly become less appropriate after the Revolution…)
My parents, Marie and Dennis, were both well educated. My mother Marie holds a BA degree in English and my father majored in Electrical Engineering. I took after my dad in my choice of a career, studying to become an engineer at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken NJ.
While attending Stevens I met Margaret, who became my best friend, partner and wife of over 30 years. We have four sons, Ian Eric, Christopher Aaron, Devon Eagan and Caelan David (we like interesting names), and the life of Christopher is the subject of our book, “There is a Reaper”.
You can find more about Michael Lynes
When did you start writing?
I have always been an avid reader, consuming everything from epic fiction to historical and political texts to the classics, (and all the genres in-between). Over the years I have written many articles, some scholarly, some more for pleasure or for my own consumption. I have always had an eye, and an ear, for the construction of the written word, able to see into the bones of a text and pick out the plot points and the warp and weft of the author’s craft. I do believe however that I would never have ventured to be an author myself, had it not been for the prompting I received thru the desire to memorialize my son Christopher and the experience of helping him on his journey.
What motivated you to start writing?
The life and the death of my son Christopher Aaron…but to say it like that is to encapsulate a twenty year effort in a scant decade of words.
Almost three years ago I first sat down in front of my computer in my office, driven to somehow find a way to honor the memory and life of my son Christopher Aaron. I thought I would write a few words, something to try and capture some of the memories, some of his spirit, before they became too far removed from memory and distorted by time.
I sat there, really just lost, and unable to find a way to begin. Touching back into those memories was like opening a long shut door, reentering a place of fear and failure and pain that I was not sure I would be able to handle.
I typed a few words, and discarded them. And then I typed a few more, with the same result. I realized that, in order to tell this story I would have to face my fear, and my failure; my fear of the pain that this re-exploration would dredge up; my failure to prevent or find some way to cure him of his deadly affliction. These two overarching forces combined to hold me impotent. In all likelihood, left to my own preferences, this project would have been abandoned, stillborn…but…there was a third force.
As I sat there, blank page before me, paralyzed by my own doubt, my own fear, my selfish craven indulgence….it was Chris, clear and sharp and powerful, who appeared in my mind’s eye. I realized that he wanted his story told, that it needed to be out there.
The feeling had grown, imperceptibly…a wish, then a whisper…then a calling and now an unfulfilled duty. He had given us time, time to heal, but now he was calling me, back to myself and to my unfulfilled duty. I owed him this – and my debt was due.
I nodded my head, silently signing my unspoken contract… There were many false starts, and many, many days when I laid aside my task, exhausted by the anguish and emptied of tears. Despite all, the promise I made to Chris and to myself that day drove me onward.
What is your favorite book and what is your favorite author? Why?
Some of my favorite books and authors are fantasy and science fiction writers. J.R.R. Tolkien and his wonderful series of books on Middle Earth, “The Hobbit”, “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the “Silmarilion” are among my favorites.
I love the way Keith Laumer writes; his imagery and his dialog are spot on point and very evocative. Robert Heinlein is also one of my favorite fiction writers, with so many wonderful worlds and universes that he has created.
Of all of the authors I perhaps would choose Isaac Asimov as a mentor. He has a clear point of view, a compelling command of narrative and dialog as well as a concise way of describing a character and a scene that does not get in the way of the reader and yet lays out a very clear picture of the world the character is moving within. I really enjoy his work.
Where did you find inspiration for your stories?
For Christopher’s story the inspiration came from my desire to memorialize his life and struggle.
Are your stories based on someone you know or on events you have experienced?
When I’m writing I need silence. So how about you? Do you like to hear music while you are working?
I can write in almost any conditions, however my favorite places are sitting outside with my laptop in good weather or beside a fire if the weather is cold.
How many books have you written?
Just one at this point – though I am working on my next project which will be a work of fiction.
What can you tell us about your next project?
It is still in early stages so I am not willing to share any details yet, but stay tuned!
About your book….
What is your book about?
Five-year-old Christopher Aaron has always been a whirlwind of heroic action, leading his brothers into all sorts of youthful mischief. A mysterious illness suddenly plunges him and his family into a frightening nightmare of hospitals and doctors and extreme therapies far from his small-town home. Can his doctors diagnose his strange disease? How will he and his family adapt to this bizarre new world they have been thrust into?
Heart-wrenching, searing and powerful, There is a Reaper immerses the reader in Christopher’s intense struggle against his pitiless foe as he matures and transforms in the white heat of his epic battle.
Would you like to send a message to the readers?
We would like our readers to know more about Chris and in turn know more about the struggles he and other’s like him face when confronting life-altering disease. Thru this work Christopher is again present in the world and able to interact and help others thru his example and the example of the way he lived. Chris’s message is one of hope and healing and of the hidden strength that lies within us all.
If you have more than one book you can sent me 2 of them.
Thank you very much Michael Lynes for talking the to do this interview.
Links to purchase there is a reaper:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/There-Reaper-Losing-Child-Cancer-ebook/dp/B00XNZW6C4/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1432437509 (kindle and paperback)
Barnes&Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/there-is-a-reaper-michael-lynes/1121314353?ean=9781938812422 (nook & paperback)
Google Play Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Michael_Lynes_There_is_a_Reaper_Losing_a_Child_to?id=FsxECQAAQBAJ (ebook)
iTunes/iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/there-is-reaper-losing-child/id995056928?mt=11 (ebook)